This position covers the four Southeast Tennessee Counties of Bradley, McMinn, Monroe and Polk and holds responsibility for half of all trial court criminal cases in the 10th Judicial District.
Donaghy, a career prosecutor, represented the state in Criminal Court and resolved more than 10,000 cases. She personally conducted 197 jury trials and none of her verdicts have been reversed. She said this important fact verifies her expertise in knowing and following criminal law.
Donaghy noted, “When the rights of any person may be at risk, an understanding of the law is critical. Each judicial decision affects not only the rights of people on both sides of the law, but also our community’s perception of justice.”
She believes each case deserves meticulous preparedness, close attentiveness and complete fairness.
Donaghy’s professional work spans 30 years as criminal lawyer, prosecutor, defense attorney and appointed judge.
This qualifies her as the most highly skilled candidate and positions her for a smooth transition to Criminal Court judge, she said. Her professional and ethical conduct promotes public confidence in the court system.
Her early career in private practice provided extensive experience handling a wide variety of cases.
Later, as a defense attorney, she represented the indigent as a public defender.
In 1992, she became an assistant district attorney general in Jerry Estes’ Office. Her professionalism earned her recognition as team leader for McMinn and Monroe counties and later for Bradley and Polk counties to mentor and supervise other attorneys.
She was appointed chief assistant district attorney general in 2005.
In 2006, she became an assistant district attorney general in the 7th Judicial District, where she now holds the position of deputy district attorney general.
However, Donaghy has lived in the 10th Judicial District for 17 years and she desires to use her skills to represent her own judicial district.
Throughout her career, she handled the worst and most complicated criminal cases — murder, rape, robbery, drugs, fraud, child abuse, and many more.
She fought tirelessly to eliminate violent crime, gangs, and public corruption. She uses her knowledge and experience to train new police officers at the Cleveland State Police Academy. She conducts in-service training for law enforcement, educators, and parent-teacher groups.
Donaghy’s past judicial experience includes appointment as magistrate judge of the Bradley County Juvenile Drug Court. For four years she worked closely with the Juvenile Court staff, treatment providers and schools.
She worked with a steering committee to develop policies and procedures for a successful juvenile drug court. Their handbook serves as a model to other Tennessee communities.
For drug addicts who commit to turn their lives around, Donaghy believes in the drug court concept as an alternative to prison. She continues to support the alternative court for adults, established by retiring Judge Carroll Ross.
Among hundreds of prosecutors in Tennessee, Donaghy, became the only person to twice receive Tennessee’s highest honor, the President’s Award, for exceptional service to the Criminal Justice System (2005 and 2013), presented by the Tennessee District Attorneys’ Conference.
Her response was, “I was just doing my job the best way I knew to do it.”
Donaghy and her family are active members of First United Methodist Church, where she and her husband, Bob, sing in the Chancel Choir.
Her community involvement includes Red Cross volunteer, Habitat for Humanity’s awareness program, and the Bike-to-Build Program.
She believes individual responsibility also includes those less fortunate in the world. She serves on the board of directors of a nonprofit supporting The Mary Diana Samuel Home for Girls that houses, trains, and educates disadvantaged girls in Chennai, India.
Her core values, conservative principles and vast experience in the law uniquely prepare her to serve as Criminal Court judge.
She promises the constituents of the 10th Judicial District to resolve every case with fairness, respect, and timely management of the criminal caseload.
She said she looks forward to meeting her neighbors in the 10th Judicial District as she pursues election to Criminal Court judge.